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Copyright © 2014 by Vicki Reece Cover and internal design © 2014 by Sourcebooks, Inc. Sourcebooks, the colophon, and Simple Truths are registered trademarks of Sourcebooks, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems—except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews—without permission in writing from its publisher, Sourcebooks, Inc. Editing by: Alice Patenaude Photo Credits Cover: Janna Bantan/Shutterstock Internals: page 3, Janna Bantan/Shutterstock; page 8, Leah Zawadzki/Leah Zawadzki Photography; page 13, Leah Zawadzki/Leah Zawadzki Photography; pages 14–15, Natalia Kirichenko/Shutterstock; page 16, Leah Zawadzki/Leah Zawadzki Photography; page 21, Gina Shuppert/Gina Miller Photography; pages 22–23, Jessica Kettle/Jessica Kettle Photography; page 24, Leah Zawadzki/Leah Zawadzki Photography; page 29, Gina Shuppert/Gina Miller Photography; pages 30–31, dotshock/Shutterstock; page 32, Dmitry Naumov/ Shutterstock; page 35, Jaime Lackey/Jaime Lackey Photography; pages 36–37, Rachel Vanoven/Rachel Vanoven Photography; page 38, Wes Craft/Wes Craft Photography; page 43, Soozie Harrison/Photography by Soozie; page 44, Kolett/Shutterstock; page 49, Gina Shuppert/Gina Miller Photography; pages 50–51, Pinkyone/Shutterstock; page 52, Warren Goldswain/Shutterstock; page 57, Sarah Martin/Sarah Martin Photography; pages 58–59, Sarah Martin/Sarah Martin Photography; page 60, Leah Zawadzki/Leah Zawadzki Photography; page 65, Jessica Kettle/Jessica Kettle Photography; pages 66–67, altanaka/Shutterstock; page 68, Mary Schannen/ Mélange Photography; page 71, Janna Bantan/Shutterstock; pages 72–73, Gina Shuppert/Gina Miller Photography; page 74, Valerie Baillargeon/COLIBRIPHOTO; page 79, Sarah Martin/Sarah Martin Photography; pages 80–81, Sarah Martin/Sarah Martin Photography; page 82, ParkerDeen/Getty Images; page 87, Natalia Kirichenko/Shutterstock; pages 88–89, Jaime Lackey/Jaime Lackey Photography; page 90, wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock; page 95, Sarah Martin/Sarah Martin Photography; pages 96–97, lostinbids/iStock; page 98, Gina Shuppert/Gina Miller Photography; page 103, Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock; pages 104–105, vgm/Shutterstock; page 106, Soozie Harrison/Photography by Soozie; page 111, Soozie Harrison/Photography by Soozie; pages 112–113, Valerie Baillargeon/ COLIBRIPHOTO; page 114, Mary Schannen/Mélange Photography; page 119, Sundari/Shutterstock; pages 120–121, Leah Zawadzki/ Leah Zawadzki Photography; page 126, Wes Craft/Wes Craft Photography Published by Simple Truths, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. P.O. Box 4410, Naperville, Illinois 60567-4410 (630) 961-3900 Fax: (630) 961-2168 www.sourcebooks.com Printed and bound in United States of America. WOZ 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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Introduction

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How do you encapsulate the joy, honor, gift, and privilege of being a mom? It’s in the moments. The tiny, indelibly precious, delicious, almost indescribable moments. From the second we hear, feel, and see our child’s first heartbeat to experiencing their first breath, becoming a mom is truly understanding Elizabeth Stone’s quote for the first time:

“Making the decision to have a child .  .   .is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” As a mom, you can watch your children silently sleeping for hours on end and feel sheer joy for every tiny move they make. Their “firsts” are your “firsts”—their first steps, the first day at school, the first time the school bus pulls away, or when we let go of the back of their

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¥ Celebrating a mother’s love ¥

bicycle. Their first crush, date, or heartbreak. Taking them to college or walking them down the aisle. All their firsts not only take our breath away, but also leave our hearts right there with them. I’ve been collecting, curating, and crafting quotes for as long as I can remember. Compiled into worn journals, my favorite words of inspiration have helped me through some pretty rough days. There is such soul, grace, and love in everything we do as moms, every single day…and every precious and sacred moment in them. It’s the soul of who we are and the fabric of our lives—one that will never know compromise. And some days when we’re exhausted and at our wit’s end, we feel like we have no more to give. That’s when, as moms, we give even more—lovingly, gratefully, and with all our heart.

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The “love affair” with our children begins the second we begin our new roles as moms:

From the second that I found out that I was cradling you in my womb, I’d have given my life for you. I could feel you grow, feel you move, and feel you kick. The sound of your heartbeat was the most perfect sound I had ever heard. Our bond grew every day. My hand instinctively rested on my belly to protect you, as I counted down the days until I could hold you in my arms. Even through the unspeakable pain of labor, my only concern was your safety. Then you arrived and were more beautiful and perfect than I could have ever imagined. And I finally knew what love was, unconditional love. It was a love so strong that it overwhelmed me. There was nothing

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I would not do for you. You were my first priority, my reason for being, my child. You still continue to grow, but those feelings do not fade. So please understand that I will worry, at times you will think me overprotective and expect me to realize you are “growing up.” Because no matter how big you grow, I will always see my child, my baby. My instinct will always be to protect you, and I will always love you more than you will ever know. Because I am your mom and you will always be my child. ~Steph Turner I hope the quotes and images in The Joy of mom touch, move, and inspire you too. Enjoy!

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The

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If I could give you one thing in life, I would give you the ability to see yourself through my eyes. Only then would you realize how special you are to me. Unknown

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Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back, and reasons to stay. ª D a l ai La m a X I V ª

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My sweet child, you are the light in my eyes, the beat of my heart, the whisper in my soul. You inspire me, always. More than you could ever know. ª V ic k i R eece

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You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day. So when they ask how far love goes, When my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows. Dar Williams

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Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child. Unknown

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Sometimes when I need a miracle I look into my daughter’s eyes and realize I’ve already created one. Unknown

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A baby asked God, “They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?” God said, “Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

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The baby asked, “Who will protect me?” God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking her life.” The baby said, “God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.” God said, you will simply call her ‘Mom.' ” ª Unknown

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I will nurture, protect, guide, and love you more deeply than you could ever imagine. From your first heartbeat till my very last. Vicki Reece

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The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other. JAnE blAUSTonE

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In my daughter’s eyes, I am a hero. I am strong and wise, and I know no fear. But the truth is plain to see: She was sent to rescue me. I see who I want to be In my daughter’s eyes. Martina McBride

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Behind all your stories is always your mother’s story. Because hers is where yours begin. ª Mitch A l b o m

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Profile for Sourcebooks

Simple Truths: The Joy of Mom  

How do you encapsulate the joy, honor, gift, and privilege of being a mom? It’s in the moments. The tiny, indelibly precious, delicious, alm...

Simple Truths: The Joy of Mom  

How do you encapsulate the joy, honor, gift, and privilege of being a mom? It’s in the moments. The tiny, indelibly precious, delicious, alm...

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